Darwin's - 'The survival of the fittest' quotation
Charles Darwin is often credited with coining the phrase - 'The survival of the fittest' - however such attribution
is not really correct.
Darwin had tended to write about species being engaged in a competitive Struggle for Existence.
This struggle being seen, by Darwin, as primarily a struggle for food to support growth, life, and the generation
of young individuals to continue the species in question. The actual
term survival of the fittest however was actually attributed by Darwin himself to another source:-
"The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient"
Darwin was so taken with Spencer's catchy phrase that he did, in fact, use it
in a later (1869) edition of his "The Origin of Species".
There are many entertaining and instructive quotations about, or attributable to, Charles Darwin:-
For instance as a boy of sixteen his father said to him:-
"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family."
Darwin was keenly interested in Natural History as a young man and his Autobiography mentions
one particular beetle hunt in detail:-
"I will give a proof of my zeal: one day on tearing off
some old bark, I saw two rare beetles and seized one in each
hand; then I saw a third and new kind, which I could not bear to
lose, so that I popped the one which I held in my right hand into
my mouth. Alas it ejected some intensely acrid fluid, which burnt
my tongue so that I was forced to spit the beetle out, which was
lost, as well as the third one".
Does Darwinian Evolution offer much in terms of explaining Human Nature?
The answer to this question seems to raise deep, but interesting, issues associated
with Human Existence and even with the Faith versus Reason Debate itself.
It is widely known that Plato, pupil of and close friend to Socrates, accepted that Human
Beings have a " Tripartite Soul " where the individual Human Psyche is noticeably composed of three aspects -
Wisdom-Rationality, Spirited-Will and Appetite-Desire.
What is less widely appreciated is that such major World Faiths as Christianity, Islam,
Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism see "Spirituality" as being relative to "Desire" and to "Wrath".
Could such Materialistic?, Spiritual? and Social-group? related tendencies as those "Tripartite" ones just mentioned all tend to be aspects of that 'Knot of Roots' which Emerson
suggests that ~ "Man Is"
Human Societies often seem to be rather "Tripartite"
Although there have been, and are, "Doctrinaire" forms of society in other cases we can probably state that
Human Beings are "Social Beings" and it seems actually possible that individual Human-innate "bundles of relations and knots of roots" tend to give rise to the "World" of Human Societies!!!